Automated video interviews

At CGG part of the application process involves a one-way automated video interview where candidates are asked a series of timed questions. Although we are far from the only company which use them, we appreciate that for many people it may be their first one.

Why do we use automated video interviews?

The one-way video interview is a replacement for the traditional telephone interview, not the final face-to-face interview; so should be viewed in that context.

There are a number of advantages for both candidate and interviewer: there is no longer a need to schedule a set time for the interview where both need to be available which is particularly helpful if they are in different time zones. This means the candidate can take it a time which suits them and when they feel most relaxed: this is usually the evening, as opposed to the middle of the day when they might have lectures and labs or be working.

Multiple people can review the candidate’s interview; and an answer can be viewed again if the language/answer is unclear. The reviewers are also less distracted as they no longer need to multi-task (listen, ask questions, record answers) so can give the candidate’s submission all of their attention.

Finally the same questions are asked to all candidates in the same way removing the potential for bias in questions asked.

How can you prepare?

Find a quiet time and location, check your audio and video settings and make sure your computer, laptop or device is up to date (and fully charged) to avoid it shutting down or restarting in the middle of your interview.

Remove any ticking clocks from the room, disable notifications and put your mobile on silent. If you are using your phone, or a tablet or laptop do not handhold it or put it on your lap. Prop it up or tape it up.

Dress in what you feel is comfortable but dress appropriately – remember you will be on camera!

What can we learn from the video interview?

Do you talk with passion and interest about yourself and what you do? People should be able to talk with enthusiasm about themselves and their course and hobbies.

Have you done your research? To provide good service you need to know your client and if you’re not interested enough in us to do basic research why should we be interested in you? Specifics are key – latest news items from website/social media, a specific technology/product we advertise NOT number of employees or business divisions.

Can you communicate your thought processes and workings out? If you can say how you arrived at a conclusion it allows others to reproduce and check it.

Preparation and performance under pressure: we look at how you prepare and respond to this interview as an indication of how you will deal with our clients.

Some tips!

It’s a visual and audio interview – you don’t need to constrain yourself to just talking and it may be easier to illustrate a point using a drawn picture or props such as a water bottle or pencil.

Have a pen, paper and calculator to hand as in an interview (video or otherwise) doing simple mental arithmetic under pressure can sometimes be difficult. It can also help to visualise a problem you’ve been set on paper.

Understanding the question is key – better to take time understanding it than rush and answer the wrong question. Make full use of the reading time to read the question at least twice and start formulating your answer.


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